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TOPIC: What stones are equal to leather strops?

What stones are equal to leather strops? 1 year 11 months ago #6063

  • Scott Sherman
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I see on this site under accessory stones, Naniwa water stones up to 10,000 grit. That's got to be pretty smooth. I've never seen them first hand. I was wondering if these water stones could bring the same level of polish as using the strops at the final stages of polishing. I am not really sure if the strops with paste are consistently removing the same amount of scratches since the paste is removed in the scraping process across the blade creating changing and inconstant levels of friction and abrasion. If there are stones which will do the same thing, I would rather use them for their consistency. Could one substitute paper or balsa stones to bring the blade to a mirror finish without paste?

Do you even need to use paste at all with the leather? What I have seen in my brief use of the pastes on leather is that it is slick as snail snot when you first put it on but becomes sticky very shortly after. would the leather smooth out the scratches naked as well as with the different pastes?

I apologize if the was asked else ware but I did not see it.
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by Scott Sherman.
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Re: What stones are equal to leather strops? 1 year 11 months ago #6067

  • cbwx34
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There are equivalent stones to strops... the ratings can be found here... wickededgeusa.com/index.php?option=com_c...31:general&Itemid=46

The strops with paste do work well at polishing the bevel which equals removing previous scratches... the results by Clay and others in videos and photos speak for themselves. I believe Clay has posted that the strops work best when they're "sticky"... I think he uses the word stiction... maybe try a search for that. You would need paste or spray of some sort on either the balsa or leather... plain leather has some effect on sharpening, but does little to polish. I don't think plain balsa would do anything. I'm not sure what "paper" you're refering to.
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Re: What stones are equal to leather strops? 1 year 11 months ago #6076

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Thank you for your response, appreciate it. Very helpful chart. It also sort of answers the question... when do I move to the next lower grit in the process as I compare my results to the chart using my various stones.

I looked at the bottom of the chart at the higher grit stones and lower grit diamond pastes and it didn't really look like the highest stone grit was as good at polishing as any of the lower grit pastes at least to my eye.

I did notice that the strops reduced or smoothed out the scratches beautifully. in my very limited experience it seems that the paste mostly sits on the surface of my (new) strops and wears away as it is used to strop from kind of thick, slick goo to uneven patches or very thin kind of gummy patches. So I was wondering, would it be a good idea to roughen the surface of the leather like with a scrubbing side of a sponge or something to help the paste to imbed into the leather or just let it age as is? I suppose with continued use it will just become more textured and begin to absorb the diamond paste. Or does the use as a strop just cause it to glaze and become slicker?

How often do you recharge the paste? LIke every knife, or perhaps every three knives for example.

Thanks again.

Scott
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Re: What stones are equal to leather strops? 1 year 11 months ago #6078

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ScottSherman wrote:
Thank you for your response, appreciate it. Very helpful chart. It also sort of answers the question... when do I move to the next lower grit in the process as I compare my results to the chart using my various stones.

I looked at the bottom of the chart at the higher grit stones and lower grit diamond pastes and it didn't really look like the highest stone grit was as good at polishing as any of the lower grit pastes at least to my eye.

I did notice that the strops reduced or smoothed out the scratches beautifully. in my very limited experience it seems that the paste mostly sits on the surface of my (new) strops and wears away as it is used to strop from kind of thick, slick goo to uneven patches or very thin kind of gummy patches. So I was wondering, would it be a good idea to roughen the surface of the leather like with a scrubbing side of a sponge or something to help the paste to imbed into the leather or just let it age as is? I suppose with continued use it will just become more textured and begin to absorb the diamond paste. Or does the use as a strop just cause it to glaze and become slicker?

How often do you recharge the paste? LIke every knife, or perhaps every three knives for example.

Thanks again.

Scott

Hey Scott, these are a great series of questions. I find the strops to be most effective once the paste has dried. Some will come off with the initial sharpening but plenty stays on. I like my strops to get to the point of being very tacky and really grip the blade; at this point I'm getting good burnishing action in addition the the abrasion of the particles. It's the burnishing, more than the abrasion, that does the polishing. You might visualize it as the leather gripping the surface of the metal, especially at the peaks of the scratches, and smearing it to fill in the valleys, like of like buttering toast. As far as reapplying paste, I only do it every 30-50 knives and sometimes even go much longer. Two years ago at Blade Show I used my 5.0/3.5 strops on over 200 knives and never reapplied paste. They worked really well throughout the entire show. I hope that's helpful.
--Clay Allison
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Re: What stones are equal to leather strops? 1 year 11 months ago #6083

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That's very helpful, thanks again Clay. I was going to re-apply paste for each knife, so I am glad you responded to my question. Does exposure to air have a negative effect like drying it out or making it crusty? I purchased individual trays from Ace Hardware that I just lay the strops in uncovered, but might it be a better idea to wrap them or cover them in saran wrap or something to seal them from air exposure or would that just be a waste of time? Not sure what the medium holding the diamonds together in the paste is and I want to keep my new strops in as good of a condition as I can.
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Re: What stones are equal to leather strops? 1 year 11 months ago #6085

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No matter what you do, your strops will get kind of ugly fairly quickly. Other than aesthetics though, it's not an issue. As for covering them, I wouldn't worry about them drying out; the bigger issue is airborne particles like silica dust. I keep mine in their plastic wrappers to protect them - both in one bag with the fine sides touching (always the fine sides together) and then wrap a rubber band over so they don't move around. This way, if the paste from the coarse side gets on the bag it only has the opportunity to get back on the coarse sides and the fine sides are always protected. I am very intrigued by the cover idea posted recently on this thread: Accessory for Avoiding Cross Contamination posted by AlekseiDyachkov. Depending on the cost, I'd like to see about getting these made and rolled out though it will probably be a few months before we actually see them in production.
ScottSherman wrote:
That's very helpful, thanks again Clay. I was going to re-apply paste for each knife, so I am glad you responded to my question. Does exposure to air have a negative effect like drying it out or making it crusty? I purchased individual trays from Ace Hardware that I just lay the strops in uncovered, but might it be a better idea to wrap them or cover them in saran wrap or something to seal them from air exposure or would that just be a waste of time? Not sure what the medium holding the diamonds together in the paste is and I want to keep my new strops in as good of a condition as I can.
--Clay Allison
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Re: What stones are equal to leather strops? 1 year 11 months ago #6087

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I'll be watching for these covers. It seems to make perfect sense. I thought that the WEPS was perfect, but I like that you are still looking for ways to improve it. You really have to think outside the box as they say to come up with any new improvements. Perhaps a clicker device that measures strokes when you push the stone up the rod so you know how many strokes you are using to re-profile a steel or blade. I can't wait to see what other ideas come out of users and from Clay. I love this forum.
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